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Hello for clarification - how long has your friend lived there? and the neighbour?
why did they renew the fence?
what have the neighbours said about this to your friend?
Your friend is entitled to have the fence moved back to where it is on the deeds and if they won’t do it, he is entitled to apply to court for an injunction to make them do it and asked the court to award costs against them. You may find they are more receptive if a solicitor writes to them than if he does. If they won’t play ball, there is no way of dealing with this without it being coming confrontational.
He needs to check his house insurance to see if he has legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal cost. From what you have said, there is absolutely no reason why he should not get a court order/injunction and costs awarded against the neighbour and there’s no reason why it should be a dispute because it seems straightforward enough.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
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I don’t think you mentioned that the fence has been in the wrong place was some years.
It has been in the wrong place for more than 10 years and the property is registered the land registry, it is relatively easy for the neighbour to apply to have the “extra” piece of land registered in their name under the doctrine of adverse possession because they have used that extra piece of land and treated as their own.
If this fence is in the same position as the old fence and the old fence had been in place for more than 10 years, then if I were your friend, I would not be taking this any further.
I don’t know why it’s now a problem but it hasn’t been a problem for some years. The fact that it may be alongside the edge of the drive makes no difference.
You say that it wasn’t in the place marked on the deeds but now it’s further onto the drive. If it is further onto the drive recently, you can apply to court to get it moved and if the neighbour objects, and tries to claim the extra piece of land they are going to have to prove how long the fence was in its long-term position.
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If it came down to an argument in court, they would be obliged to move the fence to the position it had been in for more than 10 years even if that’s the wrong place.
It seems, from what you have said, that the fence was in the wrong place for a long period of time and they replaced that fence recently and grabbed a tiny bit more land. It is that tiny bit more land they would have to give back.